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Description of the Phosphorus Sorption and Desorption Processes in Lowland Peaty Clay Soils

Schoumans, Oscar Frédéric

doi: 10.1097/SS.0b013e31829ef054
Technical Article

To determine phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural land to surface water, information is needed about the behavior of P in soils. In this study, the sorption and desorption characteristics of lowland peaty clay soils are described based on experimental laboratory studies. The maximum P sorption capacity is comparable to that of acid sandy soils if based on the amount of oxalate-extractable aluminum and iron. A fraction of the maximum amount of sorbed P is bound reversibly (Q), which can be measured with an iron-impregnated paper. The fraction of the maximum reversibly sorbed P depends on the amount of oxalate-extractable aluminum and iron. In the topsoil, the maximum of the fraction of reversibly bound P (Q m) is about one third of maximum P sorption capacity; and in the subsoil, about two thirds. All sorption and desorption parameters are related to soil characteristics of peat samples.

From Alterra Wageningen UR, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Address for correspondence: Oscar Schoumans, Alterra Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. E-mail:

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: This research was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (BO-05 program).

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Received November 15, 2012.

Accepted for publication June 4, 2013.

© 2013Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins